Los Angeles Times wins five Pulitzers

New York Times series on workplace hazards honored for public service

April 06, 2004|By James T. Madore | James T. Madore,NEWSDAY

The Los Angeles Times won five Pulitzer Prizes yesterday for journalistic work that included a series examining Wal-Mart's business practices, quirky car reviews and gripping photography from the Liberian civil war.

An investigation by the New York Times into companies whose disregard of workplace safety led to employee injuries and deaths captured the Pulitzer for public service, journalism's highest honor.

No award was given for feature writing, a first since the category was established in 1979.

There are 14 categories for the journalism honors, which were begun in the early 20th century by newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, owner of the now-closed New York World.

The Los Angeles Times' five awards is the greatest number given to one news organization in a single year save for the New York Times, which won seven in 2002 for its coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and other topics.

In the Los Angeles paper's newsroom yesterday, cheers and applause greeted top editor John S. Carroll. "My feeling is this reflects on the depth of talent at this paper and the depth of dedication across all departments," he said.

Carroll was editor of The Sun from 1991 to 2000 until leaving for Los Angeles. Both newspapers are owned by Tribune Publishing.

The Wall Street Journal was this year's only other multiple winner in journalism, capturing two prizes for explanatory and beat reporting with stories about aneurysms and college admissions.

However, two Washington Post journalists won awards. Anthony Shadid won for international reporting and columnist Anne Applebaum was awarded one of the prizes for letters and drama. Her book on Soviet prison camps, Gulag: A History, published by Doubleday, won in the general nonfiction category.

The Sun's Erika Niedowski was a finalist in the explanatory journalism category for her story of how Johns Hopkins Children's Center "let an infant die of a preventable condition and how the devastated mother joined with the hospital to spare other families such heartache," according to a citation from the 17-member Pulitzer board.

Among the Los Angeles Times' awards was its coverage of vast wildfires that imperiled Southern California, winning for breaking news reporting.

The Times' Dan Neil is the first automotive reviewer to win the Pulitzer for criticism, according to Gissler.

Last year's big story, the war with Iraq, was well represented, with awards going to Shadid and the Dallas Morning News for breaking news photography.

An expose of U.S. troops' behavior in another war won the investigative reporting category. The Blade of Toledo, Ohio, chronicled atrocities during the Vietnam War by Tiger Force, an elite Army platoon.

The editorial cartooning award went to Matt Davies of the Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., while Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., who lives in and writes from Bowie, Md., won for commentary.

The awards program, in its 88th year, is run by Columbia University.

Newsday is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

Pulitzer winners, nominees

Public service

The New York Times for the work of David Barstow and Lowell Bergman that "relentlessly examined death and injury among American workers and exposed employers who break basic safety rules."

Also nominated: The Louisville Courier-Journal, the Providence Journal, the Seattle Times.

Breaking news reporting

The Los Angeles Times staff for "its compelling and comprehensive coverage of the massive wildfires that imperiled a populated region of southern California."

Also nominated: The Miami Herald, Newsday.

Investigative reporting

Michael D. Sallah, Mitch Weiss and Joe Mahr of the Toledo Blade for "their powerful series on atrocities by Tiger Force, an elite U.S. Army platoon, during the Vietnam War."

Also nominated: David Ottaway and Joe Stephens of the Washington Post.

Explanatory reporting

Kevin Helliker and Thomas M. Burton of the Wall Street Journal for their "groundbreaking examination of aneurysms, an often overlooked medical condition that kills thousands of Americans each year."

Also nominated: Erika Niedowski of The Baltimore Sun; Bernard Wolfson, William Heisel, Chris Knap of the Orange County Register.

Beat reporting

Daniel Golden of the Wall Street Journal for "his compelling and meticulously documented stories on admission preferences given to the children of alumni and donors at American universities."

Also nominated: Ellen Barry of the Boston Globe, Barton Gellman of the Washington Post.

National reporting

The Los Angeles Times staff for "its engrossing examination of the tactics that have made Wal-Mart the largest company in the world with cascading effects across American towns and developing countries."

Also nominated: S. Lynne Walker, Copley News Service, the Wall Street Journal.

International reporting

Anthony Shadid of the Washington Post for "his extraordinary ability to capture, at personal peril, the voices and emotions of Iraqis as their country was invaded, their leader toppled and their way of life upended."

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